Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
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Member Since

December 31, 2005

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Latest Comments

Steak - correct pronunciation

  • December 31, 2005, 5:44am

English spelling is a PEST!

cake, brake, break, steak, stake, take, lake

weak, week, leek, leak, shriek,

.. there are LOTS more, I'm afraid!!

I apologise for the fact that my language is not written / spelt phonetically (unlike so many others - German, Portuguese, Spanish...!!)

Best wishes! Happy New Year!

Live or Living

  • December 31, 2005, 5:34am

live vs. living

In short: -ing forms are temporary, at-a-point-in-time things:
He's eating (right NOW. Can you call back when the meal is over?)
We were waiting (THEN the bus came)
She's been living here (for five years. She MIGHT continue...)
He had been working (as a waiter WHEN he was discoveed and became a pop star)

The concept / intention / context will help a lot:
I'm living here (but don't expect to stay here very long)
I live here (this is my home. Who knows if I'll ever move?... OR... I'll have to go back to my home country at some point, though)

Good luck!

pronunciation of th

  • December 31, 2005, 5:23am


Why bother with rules if you're teaching? Sometimes they confuse the students more than they help!

Write two lists according to pronunciation (appropriate to your students' level and needs) and practise them.
You could mix them up and make a sorting game of it all.

(In certain classes (or with certain L1 students), you might want to link this to a pronunciation exercise focussing on 'voiced' and 'voiceless' consonants - e.g. dock, dog; ferry, very; wash, watch, etc..)

Enjoy your teaching!!

a couple

  • December 31, 2005, 5:12am

There are many similar (collective) nouns, e.g. police, audience, congregation.
If you're thinking of the couple as a UNIT, then IS. If you're thinking of them as two INDIVIDUALS, then ARE (native speakers are very confused about this anyway!! Just to throw some sand into people's eyes, what about "Everybody's here, AREN'T THEY?" - and somebody, nobody, anybody... plus the trouble we have with "somebody's left THEIR / HIS / HER books behind...)
Happy New Year!